Gola no longer publishing Pequot Lakes inspired "Claude & Ernie" cartoon

Ill health forces cartoonist to give up his endeavor

Detail from an opening panel of a Claude & Ernie cartoon by Dan Gola.

Dan Gola, the cartoonist behind Claude & Ernie, announced Sunday, Dec. 6, he would no longer publish his cartoon in the Echo Journal because of ill health.

"My apologies to Claude Schmidt and the family of Ernie Musolf go along with my thanks for the inspiration for 28 years of fun with the cartoon," Gola said in an email.

Gola based his quirky characters on two men of the same names who used to frequent the American Legion in Pequot Lakes. Gola previously lived in the lakes area before moving in 2004 to South Carolina, where he lives with his wife, Barbara.


Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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